isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter vi (the conflict between religion and science)

“The curtains of Yesterday drop down, the curtains of Tomorrow roll up; but Yesterday and Tomorrow both are.” (Sartor Resartus; Natural Supernaturalism)

“May we not then be permitted to examine the authenticity of the Bible, which since the second century has been put forth as the criterion of scientific truth? To maintain itself in a position so exalted, it must challenge human criticism.” (Conflict Between Religion and Science)

“One kiss of Nara upon the lips of Nari and all Nature wakes.” (VINA SNATI – A Hindu Poet)

“We must not forget that the Christian Church owes its present canonical Gospels, and hence its whole religious dogmatism, to the Sortes Sanctorum. Unable to agree as to which were the most divinely inspired of the numerous gospels extant in its time, the mysterious Council of Nicea concluded to leave the decision of the puzzling question to miraculous intervention. This Nicean Council may well be called mysterious.

There was a mystery, first, in the mystical number of its 318 bishops, on which Barnabas, (viii., 11, 12, 13), lays such a stress; added to this, there is no agreement among ancient writers as to the time and place of its assembly, nor even as to the bishop who presided. Notwithstanding the grandiloquent eulogium of Constantine, Sabinus, the Bishop of Heraclea, affirms that “except Constantine, the emperor, and Eusebius Pamphilus, these bishops were a set of illiterate, simple creatures, that understood nothing”; which is equivalent to saying that they were a set of fools.

Such was apparently the opinion entertained of them by Pappus, who tells us of the bit of magic resorted to, to decide which were the true gospels. In his Synodicon to that Council Pappus says, having “promiscuously put all the books that were referred to the Council for determination under a communion-table in a church, they, (the bishops), besought the Lord that the inspired writings might get upon the table, while the spurious ones remained underneath, and it happened accordingly.” But we are not told who kept the keys of the council chamber overnight!

On the authority of ecclesiastical eyewitnesses, therefore, we are at liberty to say that the Christian world owes its “Word of God” to a method of divination, for resorting to which the Church subsequently condemned unfortunate victims as conjurers, enchanters, magicians, witches, and vaticinators, and burnt them by thousands! In treating of this truly divine phenomenon of the self-sorting manuscripts, the Fathers of the Church say that God himself presides over the Sortes. As we have shown elsewhere, Augustine confesses that he himself used this sort of divination. But opinions, like revealed religions, are liable to change.

That which for nearly fifteen hundred years was imposed on Christendom as a book, of which every word was written under the direct supervision of the Holy Ghost; of which not a syllable, nor a comma, could be changed without sacrilege, is now being retranslated, revised, corrected, and clipped of whole verses, in some cases of entire chapters. And yet, as soon as the new edition is out, its doctors would have us accept it as a new “Revelation” of the nineteenth century, with the alternative of being held as an infidel. Thus, we see that, no more within than without its precincts, is the infallible Church to be trusted more than would be reasonably convenient.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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